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Archive for Tuesday, April 2, 2013

100 years ago: Municipal elections have different atmosphere with women in polling places

April 2, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for April 2, 1913:

  • "Yesterday was the first time since the complete enfranchisement of women in this state that an election was held in Lawrence and many women were out yesterday, for many of them it was their first experience. Heretofore women have been privileged to vote at the municipal elections but they never took such interest as was exhibited yesterday. The polling places presented an unusual appearance yesterday. There were women judges and clerks in every ward in the city, there were women voting all the time. There was no odor of tobacco smoke but instead plenty of fresh air; cigar stubs and pipes were barred and heads were bared. Smooth faces, brushed hair and polished shoes were in order and anything to the contrary was very much out of order. Elections are not what they used to be, and election boards presented a vast change."
  • "As mayor of this city the voters chose E. U. Bond by a majority of 590. Bond's vote totaled 1,390.... The counting began at 6 o'clock and although the officials on the election boards worked hard it was not until 3 o'clock this morning that the count was completed and it was possible to get definite figures on the outcome.... The real race was that run by Harleigh Benson and Chas. Gilmore two candidates who were seeking to be elected to the office of police judge. After an all night run and after the belief had prevailed for several hours this morning it was learned that Benson had carried away the prize by a majority of 12, according to the unofficial count."
  • "While Mayor-elect E. U. Bond has not as yet outlined any policy to prevail during his administration he has publicly expressed himself on two of the big issues in Lawrence at present -- the water question and the telephone question. Mr. Bond, when seen by a Journal-World reporter this morning, stated frankly that he would insist that the first question be settled during his administration, and as early as possible. 'We must have better water for this city and there must be more of it.'... In regard to the telephone question Mr. Bond stated that he is in favor of a merger of the two systems now operating here provided the city can secure a good franchise and be assured of good service. He has a plan for submitting the question to the vote of the patrons of the systems and acting upon the result of this referendum.... In a general way Mr. Bond outlined his policy: 'I hope to keep the town abreast of the other cities in the state and to continue the good work that has been done in the past. I intend to see that all of the laws and city ordinances are enforced. I am very grateful for the support given me at the polls yesterday and will transact the duties of the office to the very best of my ability.'"
  • "The total vote cast at the election yesterday came near a record, if it was not. A total of 2,627 votes were cast and even this was not representative of the entire registration."

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